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New scheme trialled to keep elderly residents across Suffolk "connected with loved ones"

Suffolk resident Austin Reddy receiving one of the "Granpads". Picture credits: East Suffolk District Council

A new scheme is being trialled aimed at connecting elderly and vulnerable residents across Suffolk, who are struggling from social isolation, with their loved ones.

The East Suffolk Grandpad Loan Scheme has been launched by the district council and aims to give elderly residents easy-to-use tablets that are simplistic and don't possess any complicated features found on other pieces of technology.

The scheme is initially to be trialled over the course of a year and will see 24 Grandpads lent to elderly residents across the district, free of charge.

They'll include unlimited 4G internet and unlimited minutes, so residents can make calls without incurring extra costs and the council say they'll evaluate the success of the initiative one the trial is over and whether they can be rolled out more broadly across the district.

Cllr Letitia Smith, East Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, said:

“Many older people have little or no experience with technology but that doesn’t mean they should be excluded from the many benefits it can offer, such as keeping connected with loved ones, accessing health services and online shopping.” 

Cllr Stephen Burroughes, East Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Operational Partnerships with responsibility for Digital Transformation, said:

“This scheme enables users to do a whole range of things online safe in the knowledge that the device can be trusted and that only trusted contacts can communicate with them. 

"The Grandpads could open up a whole new world of opportunities to people that have them” 

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